February 28, 2017
Concert Archive

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo (Les Arts Florissants / Paul Agnew)

  • 1:44:05
    Monteverdi : L'Orfeo SV 318 (Orphée SV 318) par les Arts Florissants
Grande salle, Théâtre, Caen

Paul Agnew conducts Les Arts Florissants performing L'Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi, with Cyril Auvity, Léa Desandre, Hannah Morrison, Myriam Allan... Performance given on 28 February 2017 at the Théâtre de Caen.

First performed at the Ducal Palace in Mantua, in 1607 Monteverdi's L’Orfeo is a musical fable, the composer's first opera following his Madrigals and today one of the most important works in the lyrical repertoire. It marks an important turning point in the histor of music and symbolises the frontier between the Renaissance and Baroque periods. With this opera, Monteverdi became one of the first creators, if not the first, of a new musical form: the dramma per musica or musical theatrical drama. Monteverdi's L’Orfeo is today often regarded as the world's first opera! 

The libretto by Alessandro Striggio was inspired by the legend of Orpheus as it was told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses and certain passages from Virgil's Georgics. Unsurprisingly, the ensemble Les Arts Florissants have already performed Monteverdi's work on numerous occasions. 2017, however, marks the first performance conducted by Paul Agnew, Associate Conductor and Joint Musical Director of Les Arts Florissants, having recently finished his four-year concert tour of Monteverdi's Madrigals across Europe, and notably the Théâtre de Caen. 

For this performance, Paul Agnew sought to focus above all upon the text and the music, choosing a particularly sober stage design. Alongside Agnew: Cyril Auvity as Orpheus, and a plethora of singers, many of whom graduates from the Jardin des Voix (Les Arts Florissants's own academy) and the cast from Agnew's recent Madrigals, and not to mention the costume design by Alain Blanchot's. His remarkable work for Il Sant’Alessio and Rameau, maître à danser was unanimously praised by the press.


Les Arts Florissants Paul Agnew direction musicale et mise en espace  
Alain Blanchot costume design
Christophe Naillet stage design and lighting
Cyril Auvity Orpheus
Hannah Morrison Eurydice, Music  
Miriam Allan Proserpine, a Nymph
Léa Desandre The Messenger, Hope
Antonio Abete Pluto, a spirit, a shepherd
Paul Agnew Apollo, Echo  
Cyril Costanzo Charon, a spirit
Carlo Vistoli A spirit, a shepherd
Sean Clayton A shepherd
Zachary Wilder A spirit, a shepherd

Monteverdi : L'Orfeo SV 318 (Orphée SV 318) par les Arts Florissants